Chemistry Lab/Titration Race

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Titrations are where acids and bases are mixed together to figure out some unknown quantity from multiple known quantities.

Titration Curves

Titration curves are a plot with the pH on the y-axis and the amount of acid (or base) added on the x-axis. They normally start out fairly flat. There is then a steep slope, and then more flatness.

Equivalence Point

The equivalence point is the point in a titration at which the amount of acid is equal to the amount of base. The steep slope in a titration curve is around the equivalence point.

End Point

The end point is the point in a titration at which the pH is 7.


Indicators are an essential part of a titration. Indicators, when put in a solution, will change color depending on what the pH is. Indicators can be used to figure out when the equivalence point is reached. Indicator paper is paper with indicators mixed in. Universal indicator paper has a certain mix of indicators, making it so that from it's color you can tell the pH of a solution.

Different Indicators and Their pH Transition Ranges
Low pH color Transition pH Range High pH color
Gentian violet (Methyl violet 10B) yellow 0.0-2.0 blue-violet
Malachite green (first transition) yellow 0.0-2.0 green
Malachite green (second transition) green 11.6-14 colorless
Thymol blue (first transition) red 1.2-2.8 yellow
Thymol blue (second transition) yellow 8.0-9.6 blue
Methyl yellow red 2.9-4.0 yellow
Bromophenol blue yellow 3.0-4.6 purple
Congo red blue-violet 3.0-5.0 red
Methyl orange red 3.1-4.4 yellow
Screened methyl orange (first transition) red 0.0-3.2 grey
Screen methyl orange (second transition) grey 3.2-4.2 green
Bromocresol green yellow 3.8-5.4 blue
Methyl red red 4.4-6.2 yellow
Azolitmin red 4.5-8.3 blue
Bromocresol purple yellow 5.2-6.8 purple
Bromothymol blue yellow 6.0-7.6 blue
Phenol red yellow 6.4-8.0 red
Neutral red red 6.8-8.0 yellow
Naphtholphthalein colorless to reddish 7.3-8.7 greenish to blue
Cresol Red yellow 7.2-8.8 reddish purple
Cresolphthalein colorless 8.2-9.8 purple
Phenolphthalein colorless 8.3-10.0 fuchsia(pink)
Thymolphthalein colorless 9.3-10.5 blue
Alizarine Yellow R yellow 10.2-12.0 red

Information from

ICE Tables

ICE Tables are useful in titrations. They go something like this:

ICE Table
Initial concentration concentration concentration
Change -x +x +x
End concentration concentration concentration

Henderson-Hasselbalch equation

Strong Acid - Strong Base Titrations

Strong Acid-Strong Base titrations are relatively simple to work with. Normally they are used when you are trying the figure out the concentration of either a strong acid or base.

Take a sample of the strong acid (or base). Measure and record the volume of it. Slowly start adding a strong base (or acid) for which you know the concentration. Find the equivalence point (the point at which the indicator should change color). Measure and record the volume of the strong base (or acid) needed to reach the equivalence point.

At the equivalence point the amount of acid is equal to the amount of base. So, the following equation should be true.

You know three of the variables and can solve for the fourth.

Weak Acid - Strong Base Titrations

Weak Acid-Strong Base titrations can be used to find the Ka of a weak acid. This can be used to identify the acid.

Take a sample of the weak acid. Measure and record the volume of it. Add 10 ml of the strong base. Measure and record the pH with pH paper. Plot it on a titration curve graph. Add another 10 mL and do the same thing. Continue doing so. After you have done a fair amount, connect the dots with a line and estimate the pH of the equivalence point and the amount of strong base needed to get there. (the equivalence point is around the middle of the steep part of the titration curve)

Where is the concentration of strong base at the equivalence point.

Calculate the concentration of the weak acid in the original solution. The concentration with the strong base added will be . Lets call this . We know that represents since the base is a strong base. Thus, . Let's call this .

ICE Table
Initial M M 0 M ~
Change -x -x +x ~
End - x M - x M x M ~

pH + pOH = 14 pOH = -log[] From the pH, calculate . Let's call this .

Solve for x.

Solve for

Weak Base - Strong Acid Titration

A similar method to the Weak Acid-Strong Base titration is used for Weak Base-Strong Acid Titrations.